Saturday, July 30, 2005



"Merde" said our generous chef.

Opening Night at the Salzburg Festival is quite a do though not, apparently, for us.

My section leader had been asked to remove all trace of individuality (which came in the form of a fashionably lime-green tie) and, as we sat in the pit black yanking our pegs paralysed by humidity, placing spares on the floor, plastering our sweaty horsehair with rosin, we geared ourselves up to disappear from view, combat the swelter and give them top notch early Mozart.

Meanwhile they paraded in - the Victoria Falls Tall Hair, the Rich Wrinkles in Pink Indian Silk Dirndl (again, I think), the Backless Number (making her ascent to the last row purposefully late - only the red carpet was missing)....the Glitz and the Glint of International Festival Posh.

"Who would you most like to see in the audience?" I asked my German colleague.
"Boris Becker" he shot out.

I thought of Boris' last appearance at Wimbledon with who knows what new babe and the huge lapelled baby blue suit and decided on MacEnroe. Or Ralph Fiennes. Or Juliette Binoche. Then I thought to, I would rather see:


Somehow the dense heat ate bar-sized holes in to our concentration, creating colanders of focus. The dress rehearsal had risen from the ashes of the pre dress to great heights and we were fighting the natural dip that follows a peak. However, it was my turn in the rota to sit up front, in the intimate inner circle of strings just below the baton, and it was thrilling to sit next to a leader whose gestures are so big and clear that mine (also pretty big) could fit snugly inside them without seeming to threaten him or rob him of his space. We made a good team and there were moments when I felt like the second body in a Russian Doll.

I think we semi-rocked.

After the shrieks and whoops of the audience' post-perf delirium and the increase in clapping volume as we took our well- earned bows, we walked past the hob-nobbing and kissing between darlings and the pop of be-ribbonned champagne bottles to our dressing room where, as we extricated smelly body parts from their sticky swamp of concert attire, we were handed a plastic cup half-filled with warm prosecco. This, while everyone else went to the ball, was our reception.

Merde indeed.



Blogger Dale said...


3:10 AM  

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